WORKERS at Scottish Water have voted to take strike action unless the corporation withdraws proposed changes to pay.

Trade union Unison said it had consulted its members and 82% had reported they would be willing to take strike action.

Unison, which represents staff in public services and is the largest union in Scottish Water, said the corporation should allow “proper transparency and negotiations” and put a “fair” pay offer on the table.

The union also claimed Scottish Water was looking to “bulldoze” proposed changes to pay grades through without proper negotiation.

But the corporation has said it is looking to “modernise” the pay structure and give “every employee” a rise of at least 8%.

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Patricia McArthur, Unison’s Scottish Water branch secretary, said: “It is not acceptable to withhold a cost of living pay rise when workers are living through the highest inflation in generations. They should not have to wait for a pay rise which is already months late.

“We have not said that we are against all of their new pay changes, we have asked for openness, transparency and proper negotiations. Scottish Water have not provided the information to allow this.”

Emma Phillips, a regional organiser for the union, said: “Scottish Water have made a dog's dinner of their proposals over pay. The lack of accountability and openness is deplorable. It’s no wonder staff have rejected these proposals outright.

“In any restructuring there are winners and losers, but it's backfired because they have simply tried to bulldoze these proposals through.

“Scottish Water need to get around the table to get a decent cost of living pay rise into the pockets of the hard-working staff, and then we can look at their options for restructuring.”

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: "We continue to seek negotiations with trade unions over a very fair and reasonable proposal to increase every employee's pay by at least 8% and modernise our pay structure in a way that our colleagues are demanding."